s April 2011 - The Kim Six Fix
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Spring/Summer Kids Reading Challenge

In the spirit of Andrea's Reading with Redneck 2011 Challenge (of which I was aiming to read one book per month.. and so far I have read 1.75 books in 2011. Sigh.) I thought I would do something similar for ThePrincess.

Our library puts out a "Kindergarten Booklist" of suggested reading for kids in Kindergarten. My goal is to have her read all 135 books on the list by the end of summer. It sounds like a lot but in most of these cases the books are so short you could easily read 3-4 a night without much trouble. The key will be finding them all at the library.

In case you are interested, this is the list:

Picture Books

Aliki: Overnight at Mary Bloom’s
Anholt: Magical Garden of Claude Monet
Asher: Too Many Frogs!
Bardhan-Quallen: Tightrope Poppy the High-Wire Pig
Becker: Visitor for Bear
Bemelmans: Madeline
Berger: Little Yellow Leaf
Brett: Honey Honey-Lion
Brown: Arthur Writes a Story
Brunhoff: Travels of Barbar
Buehner: Superdog: the heart of a hero
Bunting: Wednesday Surprise
Burton: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Cannon: Stellaluna
Carlson: Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come
Carrick: Big Old Bones
Charlip: Perfect Day
Cocca-Leffler: Jack’s Talent
Cooney: Miss Rumphius
Daly: Ruby Sings the Blues
Desimini: Dot, the Fire Dog
Ehlert: Oodles of Animals
Elschner: Max’s Magic Seeds
Ericson: Most Beautiful Kid in the World
Faller: Polo: the Runaway Book
Fox: Koala Lou
Funke: Princess Knight
Goldfinger: Fish Named Spot
Goode: Mama’s Perfect Present
Grambling: Here Comes T. Rex Cottontail
Graves: Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith
Gravett: The Odd Egg & Monkey and Me
Griesman: Like a Hundred Drums
Hamilton: Let’s Take Over the Kindergarten
Henkes: Old Bear
Howe: Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores
Isaacs: Swamp Angel
James: Baby Brains Superstar
Janovitz: We Love School
Jarman: Class Two at the Zoo
Johnson: Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
Karas: Class artist
Keller: Geraldine and Mrs. Duffy
Kimmel: Rip Van Winkle’s Return
Krensky: My Teacher’s Secret Life
Kroll: Jungle Bullies
Lasky: Show and Tell Bunnies
Lawler: Father’s Song
Lester: Sam and the Tigers
Levitin: Taking Charge
Lionni: Extraordinary Egg
Luenn: Gift for Abuelita
Marshall: George and Martha
McCloskey: Make Way for Ducklings
McPhail: Teddy Bear
Meddaugh: Martha Walks the Dog
Mitchard: Ready, Set School
Montanari: Very Full Morning
Mosel: Tikki Tikki Tembo
Neubecker: Wow! School!
Noyes: Red Butterfly
Payne: Katy No-Pocket
Pinkney: Fishing Day
Pitzer: Not Afraid of Dogs
Polacco: Just Plain Fancy
Rex: You Can Do Anything Daddy
Rosen: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Rosenberry: Vera's First Day of School
Rumford: Don’t Touch My Hat
Russo: Waiting for Hannah
Schubert: Here Comes Darrell
Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are
Schaefer: Big Little Monkey
Scotton: Splat the Cat
Silverman: Don’t Fidget a Feather
Slate: Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
Slobodkina: Caps for Sale
Stanley: Saving Sweetness
Steig: Brave Irene
Stein: Monster Hug
Tavares: Oliver’s Game
Thomas: Take Care, Good Knight
Uegaki: Suki’s Kimono
Van Laan: When Winter Comes
Varennes: Jewel Box Ballerinas
Waber: Evie and Margie
Wells: Max’s ABC
Wolf: Truck Stuck
Wood: King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub
Wright: Jake Stays Awake
Yolen: How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?
Zolotow: My Friend John
Zschock: Journey Around Cape Cod & the Islands from A to Z

Easy Readers

Capucilli: Biscuit find a friend
Cazet: Octopus
Hall: Ballerina Girl
Hoberman: You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You
Hoff: Oliver
McConnell: What a Baker Makes
McMullan: Pearl and Wagner: Three Secrets
McPhail: Jack and Rick
Minarik: Little Bear
Namm: Pick a Pet
Rylant: Henry and Mudge

J398 DeP: Strega Nona
J398 F: Pecos Bill and the Mustang
J398 Hym: Sleeping Beauty
J398.2 Bre: Mitten
J398.2 DeP: Legend of the Bluebonnet
J398.2 Fle: Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal
J398.2 Kim: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock
J398.2 Mar: Red Riding Hood
J398.2 Mit: Ugly Duckling
J398.2 Nes: Jack and the Beanstalk
J398.2 Pay: Head, Body, Legs
J398.208 Bru: First Strawberries
J398.245 Bre: Town Mouse, Country Mouse
J567.9 Hey: Great Dinosaur Search
J595.789 Fro: Monarch and Milkweed
J595.79 Dor: Ant Cities
J597.3 Dav: Surprising Sharks
J636.7 Gib: Dogs
J752 Mic: I Spy Colors in Art
J791.3 Car: Circus Stars
J792.8 Mau: Ballet
J796.33 Edo: Starting Soccer
J808.81 Sin: Sing a Song of Popcorn
J811.54 Flo: Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars
J817 Dah: Monster Laughs
J818 Ter: Eight Ate
J818.54 Sch: Game-Day Gigglers
J910.45 Mal: How To Be a Pirate Biography
J Biography/Mozart: Mozart: Scenes from the Childhood of the great composer
J Biography/Pocahontas: Pocahontas
J Biography/Washington: George Washington’s Teeth

I have decided to track what we have read so far, I will create a sidebar with the list and I will white out the ones that are read. Hopefully by the time we move out of this house (in August/September) all the books will be crossed off.

House Staging 101: The Kitchen

As you may recall, my big kitchen makeover was not because I want to live in a home with my dream kitchen. Is was, in fact, a way to make sure we could sell our house for our long distance relocation.  (If you want the full reveal see this post)

Now that the kitchen is complete, and I have finished cleaning up the mess that was left in its wake, it is time to get onto the home selling process.

I am fortunate that I have sold a house before, and I am addicted to HGTV so I am pretty familiar with the ins and outs of getting a house ready for the market.

For this sale I knew I wanted professional photographs of the house taken, since you can clearly tell when a professional has taken images vs. some relatively clueless realtor.

People's exhibit 1:
Both of these were taken from currently active MLS listings I stumbled upon

Listing here.

Listing here.

Now which kitchen do YOU want to buy?

So that brings me back to my kitchen. These were the shots that I took:

And my photographer:

You can get a much better feel for the true size and layout of the kitchen in his photographs. He was able to capture a lot more light (even though they were taken at the same time of day as mine) and his wide angles allow you to actually see the whole kitchen not just short segments.

You can also see how much more I removed from the counters. The coffee pot, knives and fruit have been removed. I replaced it with my white stand mixer which gives you a better idea of how large the counterspace really is. I also replaced my brown utensil holder with a stainless one. I moved the coffee pot and a potted plant on top of the radiator cover (to convey that it is a workable surface) and where a toaster oven used to be, I put a simple tall spikey plant to play off all the circular patterns in the room (the valances, the wreath, the lights, the spice jars and the doorfronts on the washer and dryer). There isn't much on the counters really.. but you can never have too little on your kitchen counters.

LESS IS MORE people!!

And just to put this all in perspective, these are the pictures from the listing when we bought it:

There are no words... there are no words.

Linking up to the CSI Kitchen Makeover Party:

The Kitchen: AFTER

Here it is.. the final kitchen.  I can't believe it is over.. But THANK GOD it is.









And here it is.. THE FINAL BUDGET!

$4081  Cabinet
$2763  Countertops
$1280  Cabinet Installation
$455    Flooring
$279    Sink
$240    Plumber
$188    Electrician
$150    Microwave/Range Hood
$138    Faucet
$71      Cabinet Hardware
$24      Floor Installation Supplies
$55      Wall Paint
$12      Paint Testers
$26      Baseboards/Molding
$33      Radiator Piping
$20     Joint Compound
$12     Patching Compound
$16     Kilz Primer
$14     Plaster Mesh Patches
$27     Drywall
$18     Dimmer Switch
$1       Switchplate
$4       Phone Jack
$15    Shower Curtain (for Valances)
$8      Undermount Light
TOTAL:  $9967  

Amount saved by doing it myself:  
Approximately $4000.

What a bargain!

Linking up to Show Us Your Kitchens on Thrifty Decor Chick

The Kitchen: Cabinets, Counters and Floors!

This is how I have been spending the last few weeks of my life:

Finally I get to take off the dust mask and head on to bigger and better things.. LIKE CABINETS!

They have arrived and this is one task I am NOT taking on myself.  I am paying someone to install them. ($1280)  If you are interested, they are Merillat Solid Maple Cabinets.  The style is Portrait.  (They cost $4081.)

This is the new cabinetry layout:

When the cabinets went in, I (with help from my dad) installed the new floor as well.  ($455 plus $26 in installation supplies.) We ripped up the god awful fake wood peel an stick floors and put in what looks like tile. (Shhh.. it is laminate.  We needed to stretch the budget)

To save some money I did my own finish work (base molding and trim work)


Cut down the trim with a mitre box

Hide the nail head with a nail set and wood putty


The baseboards (a 1x4 with decorative molding on top) $26

I also had to encase the steam pipe I relocated previously.

We also had the new countertops installed.   The counters are Quartz (Silestone) and the color is Grey Expo (from the Volcano series).  They were $2762.00 installed.

So.. Ready for the big reveal? 

Here it is:

These pictures are also a giveaway of the new paint color(s)! I also got a new sink ($279) and a new faucet ($138).

Like the bathroom, I once again used Martha Stewart's line of paint.  The colors are Saguaro and Timothy Hay.  ($55)

I also installed the dishwasher and hooked up the electrical.  I needed to call a plumber in to do the drain because I had to reattach both the disposal and the washing machine drain.  Best $240 I spent.

You also can see where we installed the new microwave ($150) and had to have a new outlet installed to accomodate it ($188.)

I will do another post with the revised budget numbers.  Remember I was shooting to keep this whole endeavor under $10,000?!?!

Do you think I did it?

The Kitchen: The LAST Demo

We have put off tearing out the kitchen sink and dishwasher because without it, that means we need to wash the dishes (and paintbrushes, spackle buckets, putty knives etc) in the bathtub. The same bathtub which drains at a rate of about 14 drops per hour. It isn't pretty.

Once again, I played plumber (and even electrician) and using directions from good old google, I figured out how to disconnect the plumbing and electrical on the dishwasher and garbage disposal. We are going to reuse them both so I needed to keep decent notes on how they were hooked up.

The tearout on this wall was interesting, in that it no longer was plaster, instead the old paper fiber insulation (it is an exterior wall) was just pushed up against the cabinets.

I also had the joy of discovering loads of mouse poop and even an old mouse nest. Gross.

The other interesting discovery was that the drain from the washing machine fed into the sink drain. Therefore, until the sink is hooked back up we also CANNOT DO LAUNDRY! The electric conduit, water pipes and drains both ran along the wall, and the cabinets had to be notched to accomodate them. This will have to be true of the replacement set since we cannot run water lines inside a poorly insulated exterior wall.

I cut down sheets of water resistant drywall (the purple stuff) and basically just sealed up the wall. Nothing fancy. The pipes remained exposed.

I then finished the plaster work and repainted the entire kitchen.

To appreciate how much plaster work needed to be done, I shot this video of all the newly painted walls. Pretty much all of the walls are brand new:

Then, using painters tape I mapped out where all the cabinets were going to be placed. This was for 2 reasons.
1. To see exactly where exposed wall surfaces were going to show. I wanted to make sure the plaster was nice where it would be visable
2. To see how the cabinet layout would sit in the kitchen.

Sink and dishwasher

Corner cabinet with pull out shelves

Empty spot=range and microwave hood

Pantry cabinet and built in bookcases

Next step: Ripping out the peel and stick floor and then cabinet install!!

The Kitchen: More Demo

 It is time! Time to remove the last of the cabinets. With the exception of the sink and the dishwasher (which we are keeping hooked up until the very.last.minute) everything has to go.
The remaining wall cabinets and the countertops.

But first things first. Where the paneling was pulled off the wall, there are huge chunks of plaster missing:

Some of the holes are too large for simple plaster patches.

They require drywall:

And I am getting really good at taping and plastering joints:

Skim coat, sand:


And look at that corner. Hand molded over a peice of half round pine trim:

Okay.. moving on. More tear out. We are saving the stove, but it had to come out in order to remove the paneling.

Unfortantely, the rest of the wall reveals more of the same:

And even more:

Patch, sand, repeat.. Oh you know the drill by now:

This is what we are left with. A tiny section of countertop and a sink. Plus a whole lot of plaster dust. (Oh, and in this picture the broken window still isn't installed yet. Nothing like having no window when it is 20 degrees and snowing!)

Hopefully the demo is the worst part of this remodel, since it is taking forever!
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